Posted on October 14, 2019 by Michael Boik

Eco-Friendly Paperboard Carton Packaging

Eco-Friendly paperboard is in high demand. In a recent post, we discussed and detailed some of the hot packaging trends in the industry, and one of the points of focus was printed interior packaging and inserts. We’re not at all surprised by the high volume of inquiries we’ve been receiving for custom inserts, but it has been eye-opening to realize just how many companies are shipping paperboard cartons within these inserts and mailers. This is likely largely due to the recent CBD boom that has created a massive number of products and applications that are well-suited for cartons (tincture bottles, jars, tins, applicators, small bottles etc). We’re finding that many of these customers have two areas of focus.

  1. Custom printing/branding and Colorful Graphics.
  2. An emphasis on the “green” aspects of their product(s) and their packaging.

The good news is that one does not need to be sacrificed to achieve the other. Custom paperboard packaging can be both beautiful and eco-friendly.


Eco-Friendly PaperboardThe Emphasis on Natural and Sustainable

CBD, hemp and other companies that have brands focused on natural products, ingredients and materials typically want packaging that resembles a more “natural” look as well. This is most often a 1 or 2 color print on kraft. It is becoming common for these companies to include somewhere on their packaging something to the effect of “please recycle,” a recyclable logo or any number of different ways to communicate the eco-friendly aspects of the container. While there are numerous board options available, our most common paperboard board options are:

TBC (Tan Bending Chip) paperboard, the carton is always recyclable, and is made from 85% recycled content.

SBS (Solid Bleached Sulfate) white paperboard does not contain recycled content, but is fully recyclable in almost all cases.

WCCNB (White Clay Coated News back) paperboard is typically 100% recycled content and always recyclable.

Which board type or grade is best for you will depend on a number of factors, but we are experienced and well-prepared to guide you in that process.



Custom Printing Can Still Be Green

Because of the printing method used, paperboard cartons present virtually limitless possibilities in terms of graphic design.

All of our paperboard cartons are offset printed with soy-based inks—an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum based inks, which typically make the paper easier to recycle.

Because of the different substrate and printing process, there are a few differences when ordering custom paperboard cartons compared to flexographic printed corrugated mailers.

Lead times on a custom carton order may vary from 2-6 weeks depending on specifics such as carton size, material and graphics.

The minimum typically ranges from 500 to 2,500 depending on size for most custom paperboard applications, however, there are exceptions, and we strongly encourage you to reach out to us via the contact link below to ask us about your specific needs and requirements.


Please Contact Us Today

Have questions about Eco-Friendly paperboard packaging? We’re happy to walk you through an initial consultation and find a custom packaging solution that works for you. As always, if you have any questions, one of our branded packaging advisors is standing by to assist, with decades of experience behind them. Want to know more about custom packaging? Please call us today at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at


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